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Author Topic: Lifemagic (may2) (finished) Art, please review!  (Read 4714 times)
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Greybark
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« on: 07 March 2002, 13:29:00 »

Newly updated, taking Art's reservations into account.
--------------------------
Lifemagic

Overview
Lifemagic is the magic of life itself, as it flows through living things. Where life is abundant, as in the undergrowth of a rainforest, it is very strong. Where life is rare, as in a desert, it is weak. Where no other life is present, any use of it will drain the user terribly Only Redbark Brownies have a true genetic aptitude for it. It is thought that Brownies' unique cosmology, being formed from pieces of the magical tree of life, caused a percentage (known as redbarks) to be imbued with the inherent ability to match their own life-force to the life-force of other living things, thus exerting a degree of control upon them. The difficulties other races face in learning lifemagic are thought to stem from this difference in cosmology: no other race contains as part of their makeup a minute portion of the Tree of Life. Other races thus tend to learn lifemagic more slowly than Redbark Brownies (Brownies other than Redbarks have great difficulty in even learning the first two or three levels of Lifemagic).

Classification
Within the essence of existance, also called the Car¡¦all or simply the Aura, the four elements are loosely connected to each other in an intricate pattern. This pattern, known as Xeua, forms life and order out of chaos. It makes life possible, and in essence is the energy of life, the energy of Sorren itself. There are many different ways in which this energy is expressed. One of these is the energy that is unique in living things. It is this energy which is manipulated by lifemagic, and is called simply ¡§life¡¨ or sometimes the ¡§life-force¡¨ by practitioners of lifemagic.

Basic Principles
Khaelvan III taught at the Ximaxian Academy in the 9th Century and is still considered the foremost human expert in lifemagic. He boiled lifemagic down to the following three principles:
1. Life Magic does not drain the user, it drains a nearby living thing.
2. Life Magic draws of that energy which keeps living things alive.
3. Life Magic can only affect the energy which keeps living things alive.

Usage and Limitations
Life Magic is quite different than most of the other magical specializations. The use of magical words is unneccessary in its practice. Instead of reagents, lifemagic draws its energy from a source, which can be anything living. A Brownie Lifemagic adept, therefore, does not tire as she uses her skills, if the magic is properly attached to its source, directing the life-force from a living thing, through themselves, and into another living thing for a specific purpose through an act of will. Something nearby will thus lose of its life in order to fuel the magic. Normally, a Life Magic adept will try to let the source be something that will recover rapidly, such as grass, or the leaves of a tree. Simple magic, if it has its source attached to such, will cause them to wilt. Stronger magic will cause them to shrivel and brown, dead. The target of Life Magic, like its source, must also be something alive. This target may have its life added to, altered, or taken away from.

Several practicioners of Lifemagic, if sufficiently familiar with each other's habits of thinking and acting, may act in concert, multiplying the power (not the level) of the spells possible for them to cast exponentially.

History
After the War of the Chosen, lifemagic was never banned among the Brownies, as all magic was among the other races, but it lay mainly unused and almost forgotten as the Brownie people struggled to survive as the pets and entrees of the other races. It was not widely used again until Keekoo once again united the Brownie people. Sadly, by this time much knowledge had been lost, and the magical talents of the most powerful team of lifemagi today is only a shadow of what once was possible in the glorious days of Birn. Each Brownie tribe set up their own method of training Redbarks to reach their full potential. Lifemagic was analyzed, categorized and its possible roots and effects described along with the other magical disciplines at the Magical Academy of Ximax. Advances have thus been made, but the most awe-inspiring possibilities lie buried still in the past. Training for non-Brownies that wish to become lifemagi is available at the Magical Academy of Ximax, and especially at the Seven Schools of Magic located on Aeruillin on the edge of the Void.

Spell Levels

Greenflower was first Archmage of Life at Ximax. She felt that her people would find use for a similar system of magic levels to designate the abilities theoretically available to a Redbark. The following system took firm hold, both in Ximax and the Seven Schools, as well as among Brownies everywhere, and has been used ever since.

Lifemagic Spell Levels

Levels 1-3: Novitiate Spells
Level 1: Extremely simple spells, any Brownie can learn these quite simply. Often, these spells are Eruptions, magicks that young Redbarks cast before they have been trained. An example of a level 1 spell is Accelerated Growth.
Level 2: Slightly less simple, these will require a bit of study to learn. An example of a level 2 spell is Controlled Accelerated Growth.
Level 3: Earlier level spells just require power. Level 3 and higher require finesse and detailed control of the microscopic living systems involved. An example of a spell of this level is Controlled Motion Without Growth.
Levels 4-6: Initiate Spells
Level 4: Formal schooling will bring these spells into the aspiring sorcerer¡¦s range. Use of the magical language may amplify a spell, but is not necessary for lifemagic spells. At this level, the glands and excretions of animals and plants come under the Initiate's control. Examples at this level are: Create Panic, Dull Pain (by releasing endorphins). Athletic Boost (releases adrenalin to give temporary extra speed or strength), and Madden (driving a creature out of its mind by chemical imbalances).
Level 5: At this level, the initiate will first learn how to control nerves and involuntary muscles, giving the initiate the ability to inflict pain without damage (such as Skin Spark and Heart Burn), or to stop the heart of a predator (a spell called Heart Death).
Level 6: As the Initiate prepares to enter the status of a full-fledged mage, they will be trusted with the knowledge of more and more dangerous techniques. This level focuses mainly on overloading the cells of a plant or creature with an excess of the life-force, causing controlled cell rupture, with the extreme being to cause the creature to burst into flame as every cell in its body ruptures (this extreme is called Spontaneous Combustion).
Levels 7-9: Magicitai Spells
Level 7: Now a full Manipulator of Magic, lifemagi will learn how to control more finely the drain of life they put on their source. This means that they now have the ability to cause premature aging, among other related things.
Level 8: The middle level of Birni magic arts. At this level lifemagi will gain the ability to override another creature's will, forcing its muscles and limbs to obey the caster rather then the creature itself. Examples of this are Self-Aware Hand and Slave Maker.
Level 9: Only the best of the Gifted Redbarks made it to this level, At this level it becomes possible to "tie off" the life-force of a piece of wood, meat, or any other piece of a living thing, so that the life-force circles endlessly without needing any further input, and remains alive indefinitely. (Called "Everlife")
Levels 10-12: Magus Spells
Level 10: Just as with the other specialties of magic, a metamorphosis in the magi takes place at this level. They now draw their own life-force from their surroundings, and as such their injuries heal at a startling rate, aging slows almost to a standstill, and eating becomes optional.
Level 11: The highest level that any Birni Redbark could have hoped to achieve within one century, These powerful spells reach into the very genetic essence of living things, causing controlled mutations, limited only by each the potential present in each living thing. Genetic improvements are possible through this level.
Level 12: Now legendary, these godlike spells have been lost since the fall of Birn. Creating a new life form from scratch, using surrounding living materials, as well as fully providing life to that which is inert, be it stone or a dead person, are the highlights of this level. Life and Death were literally in the hands of these most gifted ones, as they control and warp all of the life-force around them at will.


Brownie Expert

Edited by: Greybark at: 5/3/02 2:45:45 am
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« Reply #1 on: 09 March 2002, 13:26:00 »

I really don't know much about magic, but it all makes sense to me...good stuff =)

I have one question though, if level 8 brownies can use their magic to cause immortality, is their some sort of rule to stop them from using this on themselves or others, or are they encouraged to do so, or no one really cares?

That's my two-cents.....

Ask not the Elven a question, for they will give three answers; all of which are true and horrifying to know.

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Artimidor Federkiel
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« Reply #2 on: 09 March 2002, 13:52:00 »

I apologize that I many things have to wait for my approval, which I can't give currently because I have to deal with finishing the movie (and I have a terrible headache currently, which I hope to disappear soon). I hope I can catch up with most things after the movie premiere and also read through (and elaborate further) all things related to magic during the next week.


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« Reply #3 on: 09 March 2002, 23:59:00 »

Shareed,
Two safeguards exist in that regard:
1. It really works much better on plants. In Birn, it was used to a degree, but is considered unnatural and risky
2. Nobody has been able to do this type of magic for many thousands of years, since the War of Chosen. It is among the magics that were lost.


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Capher
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« Reply #4 on: 10 March 2002, 13:34:00 »

I like it Grey.  And now I have a clearer understanding to the brownie magic when I write about them in my story.  

Thanks!!!!

Capher, Tribes and Races Supervisor Moderator.Wisdom is given to those whom it knows.

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« Reply #5 on: 10 March 2002, 18:11:00 »

it is the magic I like most, Greybark, maybe I create a redbark as an new char someimes...

The only thing I stopped reading was when you mentioned DNA. I know that your Brownies are able to do these things(remember something with an unusual dwarf..)but could you just call it differently or describe it in an other way, DNA sounds so like 20th century.
(Desoxyribonucleinacid, what a complicated word!)

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« Reply #6 on: 10 March 2002, 21:10:00 »

I like it, Greybark! Brownies sound so awesome with all the things they can do.

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« Reply #7 on: 11 March 2002, 03:20:00 »

Um...*I* read it...and liked it...

well done (as usual) Greybark!

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« Reply #8 on: 11 March 2002, 05:48:00 »

Talia: Done


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Edited by: Greybark at: 3/11/02 1:26:52 am
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« Reply #9 on: 11 March 2002, 21:44:00 »

Dang, you mean I have to work? Sorry, I forgot to add this to my update thing... Great work, Greybark!

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« Reply #10 on: 12 March 2002, 15:15:00 »

In general I guess the entry is fine, Grey. Here are some additonal comments:

- I would prefer e.g. to have an example spell (name and what it does) for every spell level, not only for the first ones.

- Is there a special reason why Brownies are so good at Life Magic and others not? Or is this simply a fact or has it historically developed? I would like to know some more details in this regard.

- I have a bit of a problem with "For non-Brownies this level is equivalent to level 9" and especially with "Level 4 is the highest level that non-Brownies can reach, and then only by those that can cast level 10 and above." This means no human, elf, dwarf, orc, whatever can cast advanced life magic spells? I don't think it would be a good idea to restrict life magic usage this way. Brownies can be very good at life magic, but the shouldn't be the only one. Powerful Xeuá mages (Healers! Could be good priests!) who know the pattern and the links between all things existing sure will be able to handle life magic as well, though it may be much more difficult to learn for them. I don't see any reason why not.

- When putting it up I will perhaps add some more Xeuá things here and there, only to stress the Xeuá thing a bit more. But in general this is already quite fine.


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« Reply #11 on: 13 March 2002, 11:22:00 »

- I would prefer e.g. to have an example spell (name and what it does) for every spell level, not only for the first ones.

done

- Is there a special reason why Brownies are so good at Life Magic and others not? Or is this simply a fact or has it historically developed? I would like to know some more details in this regard.

done

- I have a bit of a problem with "For non-Brownies this level is equivalent to level 9" and especially with "Level 4 is the highest level that non-Brownies can reach, and then only by those that can cast level 10 and above." This means no human, elf, dwarf, orc, whatever can cast advanced life magic spells? I don't think it would be a good idea to restrict life magic usage this way. Brownies can be very good at life magic, but the shouldn't be the only one. Powerful Xeu?mages (Healers! Could be good priests!) who know the pattern and the links between all things existing sure will be able to handle life magic as well, though it may be much more difficult to learn for them. I don't see any reason why not.

Sigh....the only problem is that if I'm not careful, it will be easy for non-Brownies to be better at lifemagic than Brownies. I can change the terminology as that is not the problem.

So far, out of 11 possible levels, the best Redbark of today can only get to 7. An elf could get to 4, while an average Brownie could only get to 3.

If we make it so that any Xeua-practiced mage can cast level 10 or 11, we make Brownie use of lifemagic laughable.
Redbarks (max 7) are rare. Only female, they consist of less than one in 18 of the population. Many of these die in training, making them even more rare.

Another point: Much of what is accomplished with lifemagic can also be done with the other magic categories. elves, orcs and the rest already have access to enough lifemagic to
1.Make a seed grow into a tree in seconds
2. Make a tree rip itself out of the ground and start beating someone with its branches.
3. Regrowing of severed limbs and other massive injuries.
4. Sucking the life out of something so they die.
5. Making someone stronger and faster temporarily.
6. Dulling pain.
7. Causing madness.
8. Causing fear and/or panic
9. Addicting someone to jolts of pleasure, making them a willing slave.
This is just a sampling....there is more. All of this is available to members of any race. Is this not enough?


- When putting it up I will perhaps add some more Xeu?things here and there, only to stress the Xeu?thing a bit more. But in general this is already quite fine.

Should be no problem. Just please be careful not to confuse the issue


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Edited by: Greybark at: 4/17/02 3:19:56 am
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« Reply #12 on: 04 April 2002, 04:24:00 »

ok, now that I've caught up with the boards, I'm coming back to this project. I have two things to work on, and one thing for Art to answer. I will be working on it as I have time (much less time now, what with being newlywed, as well as taking entry exams and interviews for the teaching course at universities here)


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« Reply #13 on: 24 April 2002, 14:34:00 »

Ok, finally returning to Life Magic - sorry for the delay, I'm much too busy with hundreds of things (especially answering to mails etc.) Anway, here I am, with some more comments. There definitely are some things which bother me hear, also in respect of the game in development:

 a) The Brownie problem

 Whereas anyone can learn the simpler spells, only Redbark Brownies have been born with the ability to be a nexus for the life-force of every living thing around them, directing it from a living thing, through themselves, and into another living thing for a specific purpose through an act of will.

Life magic is still a Brownie thing obviously. It's right that you can accomplish similar (or the same things) with other kinds of magic as well and that you don't need to know life magic to cause madness, fear, to make things grow etc. - But as a matter of fact we have the cár'áll concept (aura which can be manipulated) and there are seven ways to influence this cár'áll: Elemental Magic (4), Xeuá or Ecuá Magic and Weaving. Life Magic is Xeuá Magic. Or to be more precise: Life Magic is a "school" (spell class) of Xeuá Magic, the most important one in fact, like there will be other schools for other kinds of magic: illusionism, mentalism, enchantment or even demonology etc. Life Magic shouldn't be something which breaks out of this scheme. Everyone can concentrate on a certain kind of magic (even Weaving), it only takes shorter or longer to learn something. Brownies shouldn't be privileged, I strongly object to that. Brownies will learn much faster and therefore be much more efficient in this kind of magic (like orcs will be good at fire magic), but the possibility to learn life magic should be available for everyone (which will be essential in the game BTW). The entry currently is a bit too Brownie-centered. Would change that slightly.

 b) The Level  12 problem

 Level 12: There is no 12th level in lifemagic

Objection. As we all know a classification of magical spells is arbitrary. Now when Khaelvan III classified the magical spells he could have created 15 levels, or 20, or 5, or 10. Well, he chose 12, because twelve is a sacred number. It's the number of the Gods (and sure has several other important references, which we still need to find out). And Khaelvan III put all spells he knew into this classification: The most powerful ones at the higher levels, the simple spells on the lower levels. As this classification is arbitrary you'll of course have 12 levels. At all schools.

 c) The general level problem

Currently the level descriptions are too confusing in my point of view concerning  the "Brownie level 1 = other races level 8". I don't think that anyone will really be able to compare levels/magical power then. If a level 7 fire mage in the game meets a Brownie with level 1 Xeuá Magic (Life Magic) - who is the more powerful one?? There definitely should be a possibility to compare magical power through the spell level only. If you are a level 7 mage and meet someone,  anyone, with level 1 magic, the level should indicate that you've studied 7 times as much as the other mage.

As you say yourself that there are spell levels no existing Brownie can reach, I'd propose to move them into higher mythical bonus-levels >12. The 12 levels should be reachable in the game eventually.


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Edited by: Artimidor Federkiel at: 4/23/02 9:36:10 pm
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« Reply #14 on: 25 April 2002, 20:19:00 »

ok. will work on this.
*bows*


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